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[00:00:01]

WITH THAT LET'S GO AHEAD AND GET STARTED.

[CALL TO ORDER]

I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR JOINING US TODAY FOR THE SPECIAL CALLED MEETING, SPECIFICALLY TO HAVE A SPECIAL CONVERSATION ON DIGITAL EQUITY.

I'M THE CHAIR OF THE COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION.

MY NAME IS NEHEMIAH PITS.

THE THIRD, AND AS OUR PROCEDURE REQUIRES, I WILL BEGIN WITH A ROLL CALL AND THEN WE'LL JUMP INTO OUR AGENDA BASED UPON OUR TIME LIMITATIONS, ONGOING TO CONFIRM THE PRESENCE OF THOSE WHO ARE HERE AND THOSE WHO WERE NOT.

AND THE ORDER I HAVE THEM HERE ON THE WEBEX AS COMMISSIONER DAVID ALEXANDER.

YES, I'M HERE.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO RESPOND.

I'VE GOT THE VISUAL.

I'M JUST GOING TO GO THROUGH THE LIST HERE.

I'VE GOT COMMISSIONER VICE-CHAIR, UH, DAVID ALEXANDER FROM DISTRICT FOUR.

I HAVE MERYL APPOINTEE, SOPHIE YARROW.

I HAVE COMMISSIONER MALCOLM MEATS FROM DISTRICT THREE.

I HAVE COMMISSIONED ASSUMING DASGUPTA FROM DISTRICT 10 AND I HAVE COMMISSIONER NICOLE THOMPSON BEAVERS FROM DISTRICT NINE.

WE ARE DELIGHTED TO BE JOINED BY A VARIETY OF INDIVIDUALS TODAY THAT WILL BE COMING INTO OUR CALL AND I'LL GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AS THEY'RE CALLED ON AND OR WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK ON ANY OF THE ISSUES THAT OUR CONSTITUENTS WILL BE RAISING TODAY OR FEEDBACK WE'LL BE SHARING FROM THEIR EXPERIENCES HERE IN AUSTIN WITH DIGITAL EQUITY.

WHEN WE'VE GOT OUR ROLL CALL, NOW WE'VE GOT A ROLL CALL COMPLETED.

WE HAVE, SO

[Additional Item]

WE ACTUALLY HAVE A SUMMIT, A PUBLIC COMMENT, UH, FROM, UH, ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY LEADERS AND, UH, AUSTIN RESIDENT, UH, MICHAEL WARD.

HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? YES.

THANK YOU, MICHAEL.

PERFECT.

THANK YOU SHERIFF.

WELL, GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE.

I'M VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE TODAY.

UH, MY NAME IS MICHAEL WARD JR.

AND I'M THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF AUSTIN URBAN TECHNOLOGY MOVEMENT.

AUSTIN AUTO AUTUMN'S MISSION IS TO CONNECT THE BLACK AND HISPANIC COMMUNITY WITH DETECTIVE MYSTERIES THAT WE DO JOB PLACEMENTS CAREER THERE'S THE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES.

AND THIS YEAR HAS BEEN A TOUGH ONE.

AS THEY SEE US MOVE TO SOCIAL DIFFERENT THING AND, AND A MORE DIGITALIZED ECONOMY AND SOCIETY.

UH, WE REALIZED THAT NOT MANY INDIVIDUALS ACTUALLY HAVE THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES THAT ARE NEEDED TO XCEL AND HAVE THE NEEDS THAT ARE NEEDED TO BE SELF SUSTAINING AND THE NEW WORLD THAT WE'RE MOVING INTO.

WE'VE SEEN THAT RIGHT NOW, THIS KIND OF IMPACT TWO MAIN AREAS THAT I WANTED TO ADDRESS.

UM, ONE THAT IMPACTS OUR WORKFORCE BECAUSE NOW INDIVIDUALS THAT NEED TO HAVE ONLINE LEARNING, UM, OR INDIVIDUALLY NEED TO DO A REMOTE WORKING AND ARE UNABLE TO HAVE THE QUALITY OF SIGNAL THAT'S NEEDED THAT BROUGHT THEM STRENGTH.

UM, THE RESOURCES THAT DEVICES THAT IT NEEDED TO ACTUALLY SOLVE ARE, ARE, ARE ACCOMPLISHED THEIR, THEIR ACTIVITIES THAT THEY'RE FOCUSING ON IN THE DAY TO DAY.

BUT AFTER WHEN I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK AROUND DIGITAL EQUITY, IT REALIZED THAT THAT'S A HUGE BARRIER FOR US TO ACTUALLY PREPARE OUR FUTURE WORKFORCE FOR ALL THE DIFFERENT JOBS THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE, ESPECIALLY INSIDE THE TEXAS CASE.

CAUSE HERE IN AUSTIN, MAJORITY OF THE TOP 10 SKILLS THAT ARE NEEDED WITHIN SIDE, UM, MARK'S COMMUNITY, ALL TECH RELATED, AND MAJORITY OF THE OTHER JOBS THAT PAY WELL ARE INSIDE THE TECH INDUSTRY.

BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS, OF THIS ISSUE, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT DIGITAL EQUITY, IT'S THAT THIS IS ALSO A HEALTH ISSUE AND THEN A SECURITY ISSUE.

I WAS HAVING A CONVERSATION THE OTHER DAY, WHERE I ASKED THE QUESTION, IF WE WEREN'T INVADED RIGHT NOW, IF WE WERE INVADED, HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY KNOW THAT WE WERE INVADED, IF WE, IF THEY DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE RADIO AND HAVE ACCESS TO CITY AND HAVE ACCESS TO SMART PHONES OR HAVE ACCESS TO COMPUTERS? WELL, THEY ACTUALLY KNOW THAT THEIR, THEIR COMMUNITY IS IN JEOPARDY.

AND THAT'S WHY, YOU KNOW, VISUAL EQUITY AND HAVING INDIVIDUALS WHO NOT JUST HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, BUT ACTUALLY HAS ADOPTED THE INTERNET, KNOWS HOW TO USE DEVICES.

AND NOW START TO MOVE WITHIN OUR SOCIETY BY BEING INNOVATIVE AND REALLY SCALING AND GROWING.

WE'RE JUST DOING A DISSERVICE AND NOT REALLY ALLOWING OUR COMMUNITY TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

SO I WANT TO COMPARE TODAY, ANGELA, TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUAL EQUITY AND THE WORK THAT WE ARE DOING TO AUTUMN SLOWLY, PUSH THIS

[00:05:01]

CONVERSATION FORWARD, WHICH IS WHY WE LAUNCHED OUR TEXAS TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL PETITION.

AND OUR PETITION HAS THREE MAIN GOALS.

NUMBER ONE, PROVIDE INTERNET ACCESS TO THOSE THAT ARE LOW INCOME, UNDERSERVED AND UNDERREPRESENTED, BUT ALSO ENSURING THAT THEY'RE CONNECTED TO DEVICES AND THEN PROVIDE UPSKILLING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO MAKE THE TRANSITION, TO WORK WITH US, STRENGTHEN OUR COD SO WE CAN CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD AND ADDRESS OR ELIMINATING THE DIGITAL DEVICE.

THANK YOU FOR THAT, MICHAEL.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

AND ALSO FOR BEING KIND ENOUGH TO STAY WITHIN THE TIME PARAMETERS, UH, I LIKE TO OPEN IT UP TO OUR COMMISSIONERS, UH, FOR QUESTIONS.

WE HAVE A FEW MINUTES ALLOTTED FOR THAT.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR MICHAEL WARD JR? WELL, TED, I HAVE A QUESTION.

I HAVE A QUESTION PLEASE PROCEED.

UM, MY QUESTION IS, UH, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE CHALLENGES ON MANY FORMS. WHAT ARE THE LIST OF PRIORITIES AS YOU GO ABOUT ENSURING DIGITAL EQUITY? WHAT I KNOW YOU, YOU HAVE ONE TO TWO, LIKE A LIST OF TOP THREE OR FOUR THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO ACHIEVE BECAUSE I I'M WATCHING THIS HAPPENING TO MY WORK IN THE CENSUS AND GET OUT OF THE BOOK AND I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, BUT I WANT TO HEAR FROM THE SPEAKER WHAT HIS PRIORITIES ARE.

SURE.

SO WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT DATA ACCESS, I MEAN THERE, THERE'S TWO MAIN BUCKETS THAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON.

ONE IS THAT YOU AND FOR THE YOUTH, IN ORDER TO HAVE WHAT THEY NEED, THAT MEANS THAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON ENSURING THAT EVERYONE HAS QUALITY ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND DEVICES THAT HAD THE NUMBER ONE SOLUTION OR MEMBER ONE BOTH WOULD BE HAVE ACROSS THE BOARD, ENSURING THAT OUR YOUTH HAVE THESE TOOLS, THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE WITH THEIR EDUCATION.

BUT THE SECOND SIDE OF THAT IS ENSURING THAT OUR, OUR ADULTS HAVE THE SAME EXACT OPPORTUNITY THEN RESOURCES, BECAUSE IF OUR ADULTS DON'T HAVE THAT, THEY CAN'T BECOME SELF SUSTAINING TO THEN TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN AND FEED BACK INTO OUR ECONOMY.

SO A LOT OF OUR FOCUS HAS BEEN AROUND A SHORT TERM FIX, BUT NOT AS MUCH FOCUSED ON THE LONGTERM SOLUTION.

SO TWO, THREE YEARS FROM NOW, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE SAME THING.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION COMMISSIONER DASGUPTA UH, WE HAVE JUST ANOTHER FEW SET UP 20 SECONDS, OR SO IF ANYONE HAS ANY PRESSING QUESTIONS, UH, I DO WANT TO MENTION THAT MICHAEL WILL ALSO BE PRESENTING A FULL PLOT AND OUR AGENDA NEXT WEEK, AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO ASK HIM MUCH MORE QUESTIONS AT THAT TIME.

AND THE COMMUNITY WILL ALSO BE FURTHER EXPOSED TO THE DIFFERENT WAYS THAT HE'LL BE DRESSING WITH DIGITAL EQUITY CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE.

I HAVE A FOLLOWUP QUESTION, WHICH COULD BE A PREPARATION FOR NEXT YOU PRESENTATION.

WE HAVE A VERY TIGHT AGENDA.

SO I'LL LET YOU USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT.

IF YOU THINK IT'S BEST TO SHARE THE QUESTION NOW OR TO, TO RESERVE THAT, I'LL THROW THE QUESTION IN IT.

DOESN'T HAVE TO ANSWER IT.

MAYBE IT WILL BE, IT WILL BE BETTER NEXT WEEK.

AND THE QUESTION IS IT'S THREEFOLD.

ONE IS THE EQUIPMENT INSIDE THE HOUSE, THE ACCESS TO INTERNET, MEANING HOW ARE THE PROVIDERS, HOW WAS HE WORKING WITH THE PROVIDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE PROVIDERS ARE PROVIDING THE CONNECTION? AND SO WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A DOCTOR EDUCATION IN TWO WAYS, ONE IS HOW YOU TRAIN THE MOON AND HOW YOU DRINK THE WOMEN.

BECAUSE WHEN MOTHERS ARE INVOLVED, CHILDREN WILL BE MORE INVOLVED.

I THINK WOMEN IN OUR SOCIETY HAVE A MUCH GREATER ROLE TO PLAY, AND UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE NOT GIVING THE IMPORTANCE THAT THEY DESERVE.

WELL, I COULDN'T AGREE WITH YOU MORE.

I DO HAVE TO OFFER MICHAEL THE OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW UP WITH THAT ANSWER, UH, NEXT WEEK, UH, AND OPEN TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THAT.

I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU SOME CLOSING WORDS.

SO MICHAEL, PLEASE IS SURE.

AND I WAS GOING TO SAY THAT WOULD DEFINITELY DIVE INTO ALL OF THAT CONNECT TO BE, BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS DEFINITELY COMPLEX.

BUT WHAT I WOULD SAY IS THAT EVERYTHING THAT WE'RE DOING IS FANTASTIC, BUT WE NEED TO DO MORE AND DO OTHER THINGS, RIGHT? BECAUSE WHAT WE CURRENTLY DOING, ISN'T HAVING THE IMPACT THAT WE WANT TO HAVE NORTH HAVING THE OVERALL, YOU KNOW, THE LUCY BEING GENERATED TO THE LAST THING THAT I WOULD SAY IS PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE, WHICH IS A U T N T S.ORG.

AND YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT AUTUMN AND YOU CAN GO TO OUR

[00:10:01]

WEBSITE OR NOT WEBSITE, BUT THEIR PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG AND SEE IT THERE AS WELL.

BUT WE'RE ALL ON GOOGLE.

SO YOU CAN'T, YOU CAN'T MISS IT IF YOU DO ITEMS. YES.

WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS AND YOUR WORK IN THE COMMUNITY, MICHAEL, AND FOR BEING HERE TODAY.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

BUT THOSE QUESTIONS COMMISSIONED A SCOOP.

THEN WITH THAT, WE'LL PROCEED IN OUR AGENDA TO

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – September 25, 2020]

THE APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES.

UH, WE'VE ALL RECEIVED A COPY OF THE MINUTES.

THIS IS JUST FOR THE COMMISSIONERS.

UM, AND WE RECEIVED THOSE IN ADVANCE WELL ENOUGH, HOPEFULLY TO BE ABLE TO APPROVE THEM QUICKLY.

UH, I'LL ENTERTAIN A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED.

UH, IN A SECOND, I MOVE THAT WE APPROVE THE MINUTES.

I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES BY COMMISSIONER UTES.

I DO HAVE A SECOND, SECOND, SOME MINUTES.

OKAY.

I HAVE A SECOND BY COMMISSIONER THOMPSON BEAVERS, UH, WITH THAT, I'LL GO AHEAD AND HOLD A BOAT TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED, UH, A VERBAL VOTE ALL IN FAVOR OF APPROVING THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED, PLEASE SAY, AYE.

HI.

HI.

AND WITH THAT, WE HAVE A UNANIMOUS APPROVAL.

I DID HEAR COMMISSIONER DIRE AS WELL, UH, TO APPROVE THE MINUTES AS PRESENTED.

SO WE'LL GO AHEAD AND PROCEED WITH OUR AGENDA AND REALLY GET INTO THE BULK OF THE CONVERSATION TODAY.

[2a. Briefing on Digital Inclusion Week 2020 & Special Conversation on Digital Equity Introduction (Commission Chair, Nehemiah Pitts III)]

UH, THE MAIN REASON WHY WE WANT TO DO THIS TODAY IS BECAUSE WE SET OUT A YEAR AGO, UH, BUT A LITTLE BIT OVER A YEAR AGO.

SO CONVENE A STAKEHOLDER CONVERSATION.

ONE THAT WOULD BRING TOGETHER, UH, PEOPLE OF COURSE, FROM THE COMMUNITY, FROM NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT WE COLLABORATE WITH, EITHER DIRECTLY THROUGH OUR G TOPS, WHICH IS A GRANT FOR TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM OR OTHER, UH, COLLABORATIONS THAT WE HAVE ESTABLISHED AS WELL AS WITH CITIZENS, UH, DIRECTLY RECEIVING THOSE SERVICES AND THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF, UH, FOR THIS CONVENING AFTER BEING INFORMED OF A VERY ROBUST CONVERSATION THAT TOOK PLACE, UH, WITH SIMILAR MEMBERS FROM THE COMMUNITY AND PROVIDERS ABOUT AFFORDABLE INTERNET OPTIONS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS, INCLUDING, UH, PEOPLE FROM OUR OFFICE HERE, UH, EXCUSE ME, FROM THE DIGITAL INCLUSION OFFICE HERE, UH, JOHN SPIRITS, THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR AND OTHERS THAT WERE PRESENT, UH, ACTUALLY THE TARA, UH, DIRECTOR, UH, WHEN DALE HAWKINS WAS ALSO PRESENT, HE WAS PRESENT ON THE CALL AND USING THIS MEETING AND USING THIS OPPORTUNITY.

I WANT IT TO ELEVATE THE CONVERSATION AS ONE THAT WOULD BECOME PART OF THE PERMANENT RECORD AND ALLOW CONSTITUENTS WHO ARE RECEIVING SERVICES, UH, TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THEIR STORIES AND EXPLAIN HOW THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND TO, UH, LEVERAGE SERVICES AND RESOURCES HERE LOCALLY TO MEET THEIR NEEDS.

BUT YET TO ALSO TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK TO THEIR PERSISTENT CHALLENGES IN THE MIDST OF OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES, THE EVENT WAS PLANNED INITIALLY TO BE A FACE TO FACE EVENT.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS, OF COURSE, WE'VE ALL HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS YEAR IS COVID-19 WHICH MADE MAKING THIS CONVERSATION ONE WE HAD ONLINE AND UTILIZE THIS TIME AND THE SPACE TO DO SO THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.

I WON'T SPEND ANY MORE TIME BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A, A VERY ROBUST AGENDA HERE AND, UH, QUITE A FEW SPEAKERS THAT WILL BE SHARING THEIR EXPERIENCES AND, UH, AND LIVED EXPERIENCES AS AUSTIN RESIDENCES, UH, RESIDENCE EMBRACING THE CHALLENGES OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE AND SPEAKING TO DIGITAL EQUITY IN PARTICULAR, WITH THAT I'D LIKE TO GO

[3a. Digital Equity Discussion & Presentations - Digital Empowerment Community of Austin (DECA) Entities, Community Members, Civic Organizations, and Leaders]

AND PROCEED TO OUR NEXT AGENDA ITEM, WHICH IS NEW BUSINESS FOR DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION.

OKAY.

OUR FIRST SPEAKER IS FROM THE TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF A GENTLEMAN'S NAME IS DAVID COCO.

HE IS THEIR OUTREACH SPECIALIST.

AND WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND HAND OFF THE BATON TO DAVID.

I KNOW THAT WE DID HAVE A LITTLE CHALLENGE EARLIER, UH, SO WE MAY NEED TO JUMP BACK TO DAVID IF HE'S UNAVAILABLE NOW.

[00:15:01]

UH, BUT WE DO ACTUALLY HAVE AN INTERPRETER STANDING BY ON THE CALL FOR DAVID AS WELL.

SO DAVID HAS BEEN MOVED OVER TO THE PANELIST SIDE.

THIS IS DANIEL WITH CTM, UH, BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THE VIDEO, UM, IS NOT COMING UP FOR HIM.

OKAY.

SO WE'LL HOPEFULLY BE ABLE TO QUICKLY CONFIRM WITH THE INTERPRETER, UH, THAT DAVID IS ALSO RECEIVING HER COMMUNICATION.

I'M SORRY, DAVE, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO CONFIRM THAT TO CONVEY WHAT DAVID IS SAYING.

I THINK HE CAN SEE ME YET.

OKAY.

OKAY.

SHALL I GO AHEAD LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING WHAT DAVID HAS TO SAY.

OKAY.

OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL THANK YOU.

OKAY.

UM, SO MY, LIKE YOU SAID, MY NAME IS DAVID COGAN.

UM, I'M FROM TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF.

AND I WAS ASKED TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF CORONAVIRUS AND WHAT THAT HAS BEEN FACED FOR DEAF COMMUNITY AND DEAF PEOPLE HERE IN OUR AREA.

I THINK IT'S A REALLY INTERESTING TIME BECAUSE THE INTERNET IS REALLY, YOU KNOW, LIVE FOR COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE DEAF COMMUNITY AND CORONA VIRUS HAS KIND OF FORCED, UM, UH, INTO SOME OPPORTUNITIES, BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE OCCURRED IN BARS, YOU KNOW, SITUATIONS WHERE WE'RE DOING A LOT OF COMMUNICATION ONLINE.

AND AS THE BANDWIDTH IS LIMITED FOR MANY PEOPLE, AND THAT HAS BEEN AN ISSUE.

UM, FOR EXAMPLE, UM, THERE HAS BEEN SOME LIMITS, UM, JUST IN OUR AREA WITH, WITH, UM, DEAF PEOPLE BECOMING, UM, YOU KNOW, EXPERTS TRYING TO GET ALL THE COMMUNICATION GOING ONLINE, BUT THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF BANDWIDTH ISSUES.

AND THIS ANOTHER EXAMPLE, UM, WE KNOW THAT TECHNOLOGY EQUALLY ACROSS THE STATE AND HAVING STREAMING ACCESS POINTS FOR THE ENTIRE STATE.

WE HAVE A LOT OF STUDENTS WHO DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO HIGH SPEED NETWORKS, AND THAT'S BEEN A CHALLENGE THROUGHOUT THE STEMI.

WE SERVE STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE STATE.

AND SO WE'RE TRYING TO HELP GET TECHNOLOGY IT'S SET UP THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

AND SO I'M VERY INTERESTED TO LEARN WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE AND I'M HOPING THIS WILL GROW OUT POSITIVELY.

AND THAT WAY WE CAN PROVIDE MORE DISTANCE LEARNING FOR STUDENTS DOWN THE ROAD AS WELL, AND PROVIDE THOSE TOOLS THAT WILL HELP DISTRIBUTE IT TO MORE PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE.

ONCE WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A PROGRAM HERE, YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL DISABLED PEOPLE IN THE AREA AREN'T, DON'T HAVE A QUICK AND DIRTY SET UP.

AND SO THINK ABOUT HOW A DEAF PERSON OR A BLIND PERSON OR OTHER INDIVIDUALS ARE TRYING TO ACCESS SERVICES.

AND SO WE ALSO NEED TO MAKE SURE WE ARE EQUITABLE IN OUR WORK FOR AN INCLUSIVE OF EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY HERE IN AUSTIN.

SO THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME

[00:20:01]

HERE.

I APPRECIATED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DAVID, FOR THAT AND INTERPRETS FOR LAYING, UH, DAVID'S THOUGHTS.

UH, I WOULD LIKE TO, UH, IMMEDIATELY OFFER THE OPPORTUNITY FOR ANY OF OUR AVAILABLE POLICYMAKERS THAT HAVE JOINED THE CALL, UH, TO RESPOND TO DAVID.

I KNOW THAT, UH, WE ARE PLEASED TO BE ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES AND TO, TO HAVE INCLUDED THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF, UH, SOMETHING WAS PERSONALLY RESONANT TO ME WITH MY GRANDPARENTS.

THREE OF THEM ACTUALLY ATTENDING THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF, WHEN IT WAS SEGREGATED, UH, EARLY IN THE 19TH CENTURY.

FEEL FREE.

IF, IF ANY OF OUR POLICYMAKERS WOULD LIKE TO CHIME IN NOW WITH ANY OF THEIR THOUGHTS, I'D LIKE TO GIVE YOU AN AUDIENCE.

IS THERE A CHALLENGE FOR THE DEAF STUDENTS TO ACCESS INTERNET FROM HOME? OR IS THIS GENERALLY DONE THROUGH THE SCHOOL? YES, THERE'S DEFINITELY AN ISSUE.

AND LIKE YOU SAID, THERE'S NOT ENOUGH, THAT'S BEEN THE MOST, THE BIGGEST FOLLOWING.

AND, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY'S THINGS THAT THEY HAVE ARE DIFFERENT COMMUNICATION.

BANDWIDTH HAS BEEN A BIG ISSUE AND HOPING THAT IF WE KEEP BIG BANDWIDTH A LITTLE MORE EQUAL, THEN THAT WOULD GIVE BETTER STUDENTS THAT PROVIDE A BETTER SERVICE, BUT IT'S MORE STABLE AT SCHOOL THAN IT IS AT HOME.

I THINK THAT IF WE CAN SOMEHOW FIX SOME OF THOSE ISSUES, THEN THAT IS A HUGE NEED.

I FEEL LIKE.

SO STUDENTS COME FROM THE STATE, NOT JUST AUSTIN.

RIGHT, RIGHT.

EXACTLY.

WE SERVE ALL IN TEXAS THE WHOLE SAME TEXAS.

YEAH, SURE THING.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

UH, I'D LIKE TO CHECK TO SEE IF, UH, I NOTICED THAT WE'VE HAD A COUPLE OF DISTINGUISHED, UH, POLICY MAKERS JOIN OUR CALL.

I'M VERY HONORED TO HAVE COUNCIL MEMBER NATASHA HARPER, MADISON ON THE CALL WITH US AND OUR CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER, UH, BYRON OAKS ON THE CALL.

HELLO, COUNCIL MEMBER.

UH, WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD ANY THOUGHTS? HELLO.

UM, YOU KNOW, I'M VERY HAPPY TO BE HERE AND I'M VERY HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN IN ON THE CONVERSATION.

THIS IS, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THOSE THINGS, ONE OF THOSE POINTS, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A LOT OF GAPS AND THIS IS ONE OF THOSE GAPS THAT, YOU KNOW, DURING THE COURSE OF YOU AND I HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT DIGITAL INCLUSION, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE GAPS.

I DO HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT LANGUAGE.

UM, SO LET'S SAY FOR A PERSON FOR WHOM ENGLISH IS A SECOND LANGUAGE, UM, ASIDE FROM ACCOMMODATIONS WITH ASO, ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES WITH LANGUAGE GIVEN THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING FROM ALL OVER THE STATE AND OUR PROXIMITY TO MEXICO? I JUST WONDER HOW FREQUENTLY WE HAVE PEOPLE FOR WHOM ENGLISH IS NOT THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE, UM, THAT MIGHT BE STRUGGLING IN ANY, IF THAT'S THE CASE, IN ADDITION TO WHAT THE CALL HAD LAID OUT, I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES MAY BE PRESENTING THEMSELVES.

GREAT QUESTION.

YEAH.

AND WE HAVE PLENTY OF SERVICES AND EVERYTHING FOR PARENTS THAT ARE MAYBE FROM MEXICO, WE HAVE FOUND A LOT OF STUDENTS THAT COME FROM THE VALLEY, UM, AND THEIR HOME LANGUAGE IS SPANISH.

AND SO THEY DO A LOT OF GESTURING AND THE HANDHELD SIGNS AND THINGS LIKE THAT, NOT REALLY ASL, BUT, UM, THAT IS A CHALLENGE AS WELL, BUT IN GENERAL, UM, DEAF STUDENTS, UM, YOU KNOW, HAVE A, A, A, A CHALLENGE OF COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS, WHETHER IT'S, UM, SPANISH, WHETHER IT'S ENGLISH, YOU KNOW, IT'S GOING TO BE THEIR SECOND LANGUAGE AND THEY JUST HAVE TO KEEP IT UP A LITTLE BY LITTLE.

UM, AND SO THE

[00:25:01]

STUDENTS, UM, YOU KNOW, COMMUNICATE A LOT JUST WITH GESTURING OR WRITING THINGS DOWN OR THINGS LIKE THAT.

AND THE PARENTS IN TURN ARE TRYING TO PICK UP SIGNS AND, AND, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF LANGUAGE CHALLENGES.

AND, UM, SO THAT'S A LOT OF THE REASON THAT THEY COME TO THE DESTITUTE FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THERE FOR COMMUNICATION.

AND SO ALIGN, WE HAVE FOUND THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, THERE WE HAVE PARENTS THEY'RE MORE SPREAD OUT, YOU WOULD SAY, SO IT'S BEEN A LITTLE MORE DIFFICULT.

YEAH.

AND WE ALSO HAVE PARENTS LEARNING ASL REMOTELY FROM HOME WHILE THEIR CHILD IS ATTENDING SCHOOL.

SO THAT'S ANOTHER CHALLENGE.

YES.

FOR SURE.

YEAH.

FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW, WE'VE HAD THAT.

THANK YOU.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

THAT ACTUALLY SORT OF ANSWERED MY SECOND QUESTION.

AND I'D LIKE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT, UM, UH, THIS COLOR IN ANY OTHER, UH, UH, CITIZEN ON THE LINE WHO WANTED TO REACH OUT, THIS IS A POINT OF PRIORITY FOR THE DISTRICT ONE OFFICE.

UM, AND SO I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE OUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND ENCOURAGE ANYBODY WHO WOULD LIKE TO CONNECT WITH US EITHER DO SO THROUGH, UM, OUT THE CHAIR TO THIS COMMITTEE OR THE DISTRICT ONE OFFICE, I WOULD ECHO THAT SENTIMENT INDEED.

UH, AND APPRECIATE YOU CALLING THANKS FOR THE LANGUAGE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE TO MANAGE AS WELL.

UH, AS PART OF VISUAL INCLUSION FOR ACCESSIBILITY, UM, EVEN WITH AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, AS A GOTO, SO VERY IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVE.

UH, WAS THERE ANY OTHER THOUGHTS THAT WE HAD FOR THE SPEAKER WE'RE JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME HERE FOR THE SLOT MNUCHIN, THOUGH.

OKAY.

I WANT TO THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN, DAVID COCO FOR JOINING US TODAY AND HOPE THAT YOU'LL BE ABLE TO JOIN US FOR FUTURE CONVERSATIONS.

UH, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

UH, WE'RE NOT LOOKING TO BLOW THE OCEAN OF DIGITAL EQUITY TODAY, UH, BUT WE WILL BE IN INVITING, UH, CONSTITUENTS BACK IN FOR THESE KINDS OF CONVERSATIONS AND ENGAGEMENTS, UH, ON AN ONGOING BASIS.

OKAY.

WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND GO TO OUR NEXT POINT OF THE AGENDA HERE.

UH, OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS FROM THE TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

UH, I DID WANT TO CONFIRM THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO ACCESS THE CALL APPROPRIATELY.

UH, IF SO, WE'LL BE HEARING FROM DANIEL WHEELER.

UH, HE'S THE INSTRUCTIONAL TECH COORDINATOR THERE AT THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

HI.

YES.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? YES, WE CAN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DANIEL FOR JOINING US TODAY.

YEAH, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

AND IT'S, UH, IT'S GREAT THAT YOU GUYS ARE HOSTING THIS, UH, THIS MEETING.

UH, SO I'M THE INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY COORDINATOR AT TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

AND IN MANY WAYS WE SHARE SOME OF THE SAME CHALLENGES THAT, UH, THE PREVIOUS SPEAKER DAVID COCO SHARED WITH THE, UH, THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF, WE SERVE APPROXIMATELY 10,000 STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE OF TEXAS, UM, IN TERMS OF OUR SERVICES.

UM, WE SUPPORT STUDENTS REMOTELY AS WELL AS WE ARE ALSO A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SERVING ROUGHLY 140 STUDENTS WHO TRAVEL TO AUSTIN FROM AROUND THE STATE.

UH, AND THEY, THEY STAY IN DORMS ON OUR CAMPUS AND, AND RECEIVE DIRECT SERVICES THERE.

AND YEAH, IT'S BEEN QUITE THE JOURNEY FOR US SINCE LAST SPRING, WHEN WE HAD TO SHUT DOWN OUR IN PERSON CAMPUS AND SHIFT TO A REMOTE, UH, FULL TIME REMOTE MODEL.

AND, UH, IT, IT DEFINITELY DID HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE INEQUITIES IN TERMS OF, UH, ACCESS TO, UH, TO HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACROSS OUR STUDENT BODY.

SO IF YOU, YOU KNOW, IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE IF YOU'RE A STUDENT WHO HAS A VISUAL IMPAIRMENT OR IS TOTALLY BLIND, YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF LAYERS OF BARRIERS.

UH, NOT ONLY ARE YOU RELYING ON ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY TO, UH, TO ACCESS THE PLATFORMS WHERE A LOT OF THIS INSTRUCTIONAL CONTENT IS DELIVERED SUCH AS ZOOM OR THE LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS. UM, BUT IF YOU ALSO DON'T HAVE RELIABLE INTERNET, IT'S JUST AN INCREDIBLE CHALLENGE.

SO WE'VE HAD TO SCRAMBLE, WE'VE HAD TO BE CREATIVE WITH FINDING SOLUTIONS FOR OUR FAMILIES AND THE, AND THE STUDENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES.

UM, WE'VE BEEN SHIPPING HOTSPOT TO STUDENTS AROUND THE STATE TRYING TO WORK WITH THEIR LOCAL

[00:30:01]

EDUCATION AGENCY TO, TO FIND SOLUTIONS.

AND SO IT'S DEFINITELY A MATTER OF FIGURING OUT HOW WE PRIORITIZE THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE TO OUR STUDENTS.

SO I THINK DEFINITELY FIRST STEP IS MAKING SURE THAT THEY DO HAVE RELIABLE INTERNET AND THEN BEYOND THAT, UH, SORT OF A LONGTERM GOAL FOR OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY.

AND FOR ME PERSONALLY, IS TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR INCREASING, UH, AND IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY FOR WEB ACCESSIBILITY AND THE ONLINE PLATFORMS THAT, YOU KNOW, THE MAJORITY OF GENERAL ED STUDENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE, ARE, ARE USING LIKE, IT'S NO BIG DEAL, BUT FOR OUR STUDENTS, IT'S A, IT'S A TERRIBLE CHALLENGE WHEN, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T, UH, SIMPLY TURN IN AN ASSIGNMENT BECAUSE BUTTONS ON A WEBPAGE AREN'T LABELED CORRECTLY.

UM, AND SO YES, I WOULD SAY, UH, YOU KNOW, THINGS ARE NOT EQUITABLE FOR OUR STUDENT POPULATION ON A NUMBER OF FRONTS.

UM, AND, AND IT'S A HUGE TOPIC.

AND, AND, UH, I MEAN, I FEEL LIKE I COULD TALK ABOUT IT FOR A LONG TIME.

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAVE ALLOTTED, BUT IT MAY BE GOOD JUST TO KIND OF SEE IF YOU GUYS HAVE QUESTIONS FOR ME AND MY ROLE AND THE STUDENTS THAT WE SERVE.

I'M HAPPY TO, UH, TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CONTEXT OR INFORMATION.

THANK YOU, DANIEL.

WE'VE BEEN A LOT ABOUT 14 MINUTES FOR, UH, FOR YOUR UPPER MENTATION AND FOR QUESTIONS, BUT IT'S GREAT.

CAUSE YOU'VE GIVEN MORE TIME PERHAPS FOR QUESTIONS.

UH, SO WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND OPEN IT UP TO OUR POLICY MAKERS, UH, FOR ANY FEEDBACK.

UH, I WOULD INVITE ANYONE THAT HADN'T SPOKEN ALREADY TO SPEAK.

UM, AGAIN, DELIGHTED TO HAVE, UH, UH, OUR CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER, A BAR IN OKLAHOMA CALL, UH, AS WELL AS, UH, UH, REPRESENTATIVES FROM KATHY OFFICE, UH, IN PARTICULAR, UM, NICOLE GOLDEN COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH COORDINATOR THERE, UM, DEFINITELY WANT TO PUT ANYONE ON THE SPOT, BUT WHAT WE MIGHT ANYONE TO CHIME IN WITH THAT THAT WOULD LIKE TO WELL CONDITION IS THERE BEFORE TRANSLATING A NORMAL WEB PAGE AUDIO SIGNAL, A BLIND PERSON CAN UNDERSTAND.

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

UH, THAT, THAT TECHNOLOGY IS WHAT WE CALL A SCREEN READER TECHNOLOGY.

UM, SO IT DEPENDS ON WHAT INSTRUCTIONAL DEVICE YOU'RE USING.

IF YOU'RE A, A STUDENT, IF YOU'RE USING A LAPTOP, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU WOULD USE PROBABLY A PROGRAM CALLED JAWS AND IT, AND IT'S AN APPLICATION THAT GIVES AUDIO FEEDBACK, UM, THAT DESCRIBES THE ELEMENTS THAT YOU'RE INTERACTING, UM, ON A WEBPAGE, FOR EXAMPLE, OR AN APPLICATION.

A LOT OF OUR STUDENTS USE IPHONES AND IPADS, AND THEY HAVE BUILT IN SCREEN READERS THAT, UH, WILL, YOU KNOW, NARRATE, UH, YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY'RE INTERACTING WITH, BUT THE DIFFICULTY WITH SCREEN READERS, A IT'S, IT'S VERY COMPLICATED AND IT REQUIRES A HEAVY COGNITIVE LOAD BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ONLY HAVING TO PROCESS THE NORMAL INFORMATION IN A GIVEN APPLICATION, BUT YOU'RE ALSO HAVING TO NAVIGATE AN ANOTHER LAYER OF TECHNOLOGY ON TOP OF THAT.

BUT THE BIGGEST ISSUE IS THAT SIMPLY MANY APPLICATIONS AND MANY WEBSITES ARE JUST NOT DESIGNED, UH, UP TO ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, OUR, OUR, YOU KNOW, UH, BLIND STUDENTS AND STAFF MEMBERS NEED TO BE ABLE TO, TO GET TO THE ELEMENTS ON A WEBPAGE AND THEY CAN'T ALWAYS DO THAT JUST BECAUSE THE WEBPAGE IS NOT, UH, DESIGNED APPROPRIATELY.

UM, SOME WEBSITES ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY, I THINK THE LATEST STUDY WAS 98% OF ALL WEBSITES HAVE SOME SORT OF ACCESSIBILITY ERROR, UM, WHICH IS A HUGE BARRIER FOR OUR POPULATION.

ARE THERE ONLINE GUIDELINES FOR HOW TO MAKE WEBSITE OR ACCESSIBLE? YES.

UH, THERE ARE GUIDELINES AND, UH, AND THERE, AND THERE'S EVEN LAWS IN PLACE THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, DEMAND THAT ESPECIALLY EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES ARE SUPPOSED TO MEET THESE STANDARDS.

UM, I, I ADMIT I'M NOT 100% UP TO SPEED ON ALL THE FINE DETAILS OF THESE, OF THESE LAWS AND, AND GUIDELINES.

UM, BUT YOU KNOW, THERE'S NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, THE NATIONAL FEDERATION FOR THE BLIND THAT, UH, THEY, THEY FREQUENTLY WILL PURSUE LITIGATION TO TRY TO GET ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS TO WEBSITES.

I DON'T KNOW IF Y'ALL WERE FAMILIAR WITH A HUGE DOMINO'S LAWSUIT, BUT DOMINO'S PIZZA COMPANY, THEIR, UH, THEIR MOBILE APPLICATION WAS NOT ACCESSIBLE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND.

AND THEY ACTUALLY, UH, UM, THERE WAS A SUPREME COURT RULING ABOUT IT JUST A FEW MONTHS BACK THAT BASICALLY RULED IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFF.

UM, AND, UH, IT MADE THE CASE THAT THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT APPLIED TO DIGITAL STOREFRONTS AS WELL AS PHYSICAL STOREFRONTS.

AND

[00:35:01]

THAT WAS A HUGE WIN FOR ACCESSIBILITY RIGHTS ADVOCATES.

AND, UM, AND IT HAS HUGE IMPLICATIONS FOR, FOR BUSINESSES AND WEBSITES IN GENERAL, TO START APPLYING PRESSURE TO THEM, TO DESIGN IT UP TO UP TO STANDARD.

YES.

SPECIFICALLY WITHIN AN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT, IT IS QUITE DEPRESSING.

LIKE THERE'S, THERE'S A VERY POPULAR LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT YOU SEE IN K THROUGH LIKE SECOND OR THIRD GRADE CALLED SEESAW.

IT'S TOTALLY INACCESSIBLE FOR SCREEN READERS.

SO STUDENTS THAT ARE ON IPADS THAT ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED, THEY CANNOT ACCESS THAT APPLICATION AT.

UM, AND THERE'S LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF EXAMPLES.

UM, WITH MAINSTREAM EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY, I'M CURIOUS, UM, FOR DIFFERENT SCHOOLS, UH, LIKE SCREENING OR TOOLS, UM, DO THEY, ARE YOU, ARE YOU NOTICING THAT THEY'RE REQUIRING EXTRA, EXTRA, UM, YOU KNOW, EXTRA BANDWIDTH NEEDED IN ORDER TO, UM, YOU KNOW, STABLE USE THEM? IS IT CREATING MORE OF A, A POOL ON THE AVAILABLE BANDWIDTH OF YOUR STUDENTS? THAT, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

UM, I DON'T KNOW THAT SCREEN READER TECHNOLOGY IN AND OF ITSELF ADDS AN EXTRA DEMAND ON THE BANDWIDTH.

I THINK IT ADDS AN EXTRA DEMAND ON THE PROCESSING SPEED OF THE GIVEN DEVICE.

SO IF A STUDENT DOESN'T HAVE A FAST ENOUGH PROCESSOR ON THEIR COMPUTER OR THEIR PHONE IS OUTDATED, UM, IT CAN REALLY SLOW YOUR DEVICE DOWN.

AND SO IN THAT EXAMPLE, YES, IT CAN TAKE A STUDENT WHO IS USING A SCREEN READERS A LOT OF EXTRA TIME TO COMPLETE THE SAME SORT OF ASSIGNMENTS A A GEN ED STUDENT MAY COMPLETE VERY QUICKLY.

UM, SO THEY NEED THAT ACCOMMODATION OF EXTRA TIME SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THE, UH, THE COMPLEXITY OF NAVIGATING THIS CONTENT WITH A SCREEN READER AND THE EXTRA, UH, UH, DEMAND THAT IT, THAT REQUIRES OF THEIR DEVICE.

UM, YOU KNOW, TO THE EARLIER QUESTION, IF YOU LOOK AT IT, IT REALLY, THERE ARE THREE SYSTEMS, RIGHT? YOU'VE GOT THE APPLE STANDARD PLATFORM, YOU'VE GOT THE MICROSOFT PLATFORM.

AND WHAT I HEARD YOU SAY IS THAT THERE REALLY ISN'T A STANDARD THAT STRADDLES ALL THREE PLATFORMS, SO THAT SCREEN READERS WOULD APPLY EQUALLY, EFFICIENTLY ACROSS ALL THREE PLATFORMS. IS THAT A FAIR THING TO SAY? YOU'RE LIMITED IN THE PLATFORMS YOU CAN USE? UH, TH THAT'S ABSOLUTELY A FAIR, UH, STATEMENT.

THERE'S NOT A SINGLE SCREEN READER, THAT'S SORT OF THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD.

I THINK THE TWO BIGGEST PLAYERS ARE VOICEOVER WITH APPLE PRODUCTS AND JAWS WITH WINDOWS PRODUCTS.

UM, BUT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF LIKE, UH, UH, GOOGLE HAS THEIR OWN CULTURE, UH, CHROME BOX FOR THEIR CHROME PRODUCTS.

UM, WINDOWS.

NOW HOW'S THE BUILT IN WINDOWS NARRATOR SCREEN METER IN EACH OF THESE SCREEN, READERS HAS THEIR OWN SET OF COMMANDS AND OWN SET OF RULES AND KEYBOARD, UH, COMBINATIONS THAT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER.

SO IT DOES MAKE IT VERY CHALLENGING.

ONE OF, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I DO IN MY ROLE AS I TRAIN THE TEACHERS ON HOW TO USE INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY, AND I HAVE TO TEACH ALL THE DIFFERENT SCREEN READERS WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT PRODUCTS.

SO IT'S JUST, IT'S, IT'S A LOT, IT'S A LOT FOR OUR STUDENTS AND OUR STAFF TO, TO KEEP UP WITH.

SO DO YOU SEE A NEED FOR A NATIONAL STANDARD? AND IF SO, WHERE DOES IT BELONG? WHERE SHOULD IT START? IS IT BE MORE GRASSROOTS EFFORT OR IS IT FROM THE TOP? YEAH, I THINK IT NEEDS TO, I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE TOP DOWN NATIONAL STANDARD, BUT I THINK, I THINK THERE'S THE, THE WC THREE ORGANIZATION THAT CREATES STANDARDS FOR THE WEB.

AND REALLY IF THERE WAS JUST, YOU KNOW, A NATIONAL PUSH TO MAKE SURE THE WEB IS ACCESSIBLE AND THAT MOBILE APPS ARE ACCESSIBLE, USERS CAN CHOOSE WHATEVER SCREEN READER THEY PREFER.

UM, BUT IF THE WEBSITES OR WEBSITES ARE DESIGNED UP TO STANDARD, THEN THEY SHOULD WORK WITH ANY SCREEN READER.

AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM WHEN THE WEBSITE'S NOT DESIGNED, UH, UP TO STANDARD.

IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHAT SCREEN READER YOU'RE USING.

IT'S JUST GOING TO BE A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE FOR THE USER.

YEAH.

GREAT QUESTION.

GREAT QUESTION.

WE ARE JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME, I'D LIKE TO GIVE US A, CAN A CHANCE TO ANYBODY THAT PAUL POLICYMAKERS TO CHIME IN.

UH, THIS IS BRIAN OF THE CHIEF EQUITY OFFICER DANIEL, THANKS FOR JOINING US.

UM, WE WERE PART OF THE CITY AND COUNTY'S EMERGENCY OPERATION RESPONSE TO COVID-19.

AND AS I WAS TALKING TO YOU, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE AN ONLINE DASHBOARD THAT HAS EVERYTHING FROM, UH, THE PERCENT POSITIVE RATE TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND WHERE WE CAN SEE.

AND I WANT US TO KNOW IF YOU HAD ANY FEEDBACK IN TERMS OF, UH, THE ACCESSIBILITY OF OUR COVID-19

[00:40:01]

INFORMATION FOR COMMUNITY, ESPECIALLY FOR THE BLIND COMMUNITY.

AND IF, UH, IF OUR WEBSITE IS, IS ACTUALLY VERY COMPATIBLE WITH THE SCREEN READERS THAT WE'RE DISCUSSING THE RIGHT QUESTION.

YEAH, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I, I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH THAT SIDE.

I WOULD NEED TO, TO TEST IT MYSELF, BUT, UH, THERE'S AN ORGANIZATION HERE IN AUSTIN CALLED NOBILITY.

THAT'S K N O W B I L I T Y A NONPROFIT AND THEY ADVOCATE FOR AN ACCESSIBLE WEB, AND I KNOW THEY, THEY CAN PROVIDE, UH, ACCESSIBILITY TESTING OF, OF WEBSITE.

SO IF YOU WERE CURIOUS IF YOUR SITE MEETS STANDARDS, UM, I, YOU KNOW, I WOULD REACH OUT TO THEM AND SEE IF THEY HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS.

UH, IN FACT, THAT'S A GOOD EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED TO ACTUALLY, UH, TEST SITES.

AND, UM, A LOT OF TIMES IT'S JUST CONTRACT WORK, BUT IT'S STILL REALLY NICE FOR THEM.

UM, AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE'RE KIND OF COACHING OUR STUDENTS UP, UH, AS A CAREER ED OPPORTUNITIES TO BE ACCESSIBILITY TESTERS.

UM, NO, THAT'S GREAT.

I'LL DEFINITELY TAKE YOU UP ON THAT.

THANK YOU.

YES.

YEAH.

YEAH.

GREAT QUESTION.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WELL, DANIEL, I DEFINITELY WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY, UH, WITH YOUR PASSION FOR ADVOCACY AND DESIRE TO BE FURTHER INVOLVED, UH, WANT TO KNOW, UH, WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT WE'RE GOING TO GIVE YOU AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES HERE AT THIS COMMISSION TO BE INVOLVED AND REALLY APPLAUD YOU FOR MAKING TIME FOR US TODAY.

THANKS SO MUCH.

I APPRECIATE IT.

MY PLEASURE.

I HOPE YOU CAN NOT STICK AROUND FOR THE REST OF THE CONVERSATION WITH THAT.

WE'LL GO AHEAD, MOVE ON TO OUR NEXT ORGANIZATION, UH, THE UNITED WAY OF GREATER AUSTIN, AND WE HAVE A HOST OF, OF CLIENTS, UH, THAT WE'LL BE SPEAKING.

UH, BUT THERE'LL BE AN INITIAL STATEMENT.

INTRODUCTION FROM THE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY PATHWAYS, UH, PAULA SYLVESTRI FOR US.

OOPS, MUTE IT.

HELLO EVERYBODY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME TODAY.

MY NAME IS AND THE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY PATHWAYS AT UNITED WAY FOR GREATER OSTEEN.

AND I AM HERE TODAY REPRESENTING THE TWO GEN COALITION AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SERVE THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES WITH LOW INCOME HERE IN AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

UH, FAMILY PATHWAYS IS THE PILLAR OF UNITED WAY THAT FOCUSES ON FINANCIAL STABILITY OR GOAL IS TO MOVE FAMILIES TO SUSTAINABLE LIVING WAGES BY REMOVING SYSTEMIC BARRIERS TO CAREER IN EDUCATION, PATIENT PATHWAYS FOR PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN.

THE ECONOMIC RAMIFICATIONS OF COLLEAGUE CRISIS CONTINUE TO UNFOLD.

AND THERE IS A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE FUTURE.

THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS HAVE BROUGHT INTO SHARP FOCUS, THE IMPORTANCE OF WESTERN LOCATION AND CAREERS TO FIGHT INEQUITIES.

SERVICE PROVIDERS HAVE CHANGED THEIR DELIVERY SERVICE TO THE SOUND'S LEARNING AND REMOTE SERVICE DELIVERY.

IN ORDER TO ACCESS SERVICES NOW, AND INDEFINITELY FAMILIES NEED ACCESS TO BROADBAND BROADBAND INTERNET.

I EQUATE DEVICES AND DIGITAL SKILLS TO PARTICIPATE IN EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES OR COMMUNITY HAS DONE A LOT TO PROVIDE FOR INTERNET ACCESS SCHOOL VICTORIES DISTRICTS, THE CITY AND NONPROFITS ARE PROVIDING HOUSEHOLDS WITH WIRELESS SPOTS OR CON INTERNET SERVICES.

THERE IS AN EXPANSION OF FREE INTERNET SERVICE THROUGHOUT PUBLIC HOTSPOTS AROUND THE CITY.

UM, THE MAJORITY OF FAMILIES OF LOW INCOME ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR AND THEY'RE LIVING IN, UM, THEIR CERTS DIGITAL DESERTS.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS NOT ENOUGH.

THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THEIR SCHOOLWORK BECAUSE THEY LACK INTERNET ACCESSING THEIR HOME HOTSPOT.

AFTER DON'T HAVE CAPACITY FOR MULTIPLE DEVICES AND MULTIPLE FAMILY MEMBERS.

WE HEAR FROM CHILDREN WHO MUST VENTURE OUT ALONG TO WIFI SPOTS, NEAR BUSES OR LOCAL RESTAURANTS.

EVERY TIME A CHILD OR A PARENT HAS PROBLEMS WITH THE INTERNET CONNECTION THAT CHILD OR PARENTS EXPERIENCE A LEARNING LOSS.

A LARGE NUMBER OF FAMILIES ARE ACCESSING VR SERVICES.

THE OTHER ONE, IN MANY CASES, SEVERAL FAMILY MEMBERS ARE SHARING A SINGLE CELL PHONE AND ARE USING THAT CELL PHONE TO ATTEND CLASSES AND MEETINGS IN SEVERAL PLATFORMS ARE COMPLETE SCHOOLWORK LIKE WRITING ESSAYS, UPLOADING DOCUMENTS, AND HOMEWORK, FILLING OUT FORMS TO ACCESS OUR SERVICES SUCH AS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS OR HEALTHCARE.

TODAY, YOU WILL HEAR FROM A SINGLE MOM WORKING TO WORKING TO ATTEND CLASSES HERSELF WHILE HER, WHILE SHE CHAIRS TWO COMPUTERS WERE HER THREE SCHOOL AGED KIDS THAT IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL IN OCCASIONAL OPPORTUNITIES WITH ONLY TWO DEVICES.

AND EVEN WHEN STUDENTS HAVE DEVICES AND SOME CONNECTIVITY IS NOT ALWAYS ENOUGH TO ENSURE THEY HAVE FULL ACCESS TO A MIND ILL PATIENT.

THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE BASIC DIGITAL LITERACY SKILLS AND NO ACCESS TO TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

FOR MANY POPULATIONS.

[00:45:01]

THIS ISSUE IS COMPOUNDED INCLUDING NON ENGLISH SPEAKER, ALL THEIR INDIVIDUALS WITH BASIC DIGITAL EXPERIENCE AND THOSE WITH LIMITED EDUCATION.

SO YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR FROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO ARE GOING TO SHARE THEIR STORIES, UM, AND A COUPLE OF TIMES ARE GOING TO SHARE THEIR STORIES IN SPANISH BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR LANGUAGE OF ORIGIN.

THANK YOU.

WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND WE'RE ABLE TO PROVIDE AN INTERPRETER TODAY FOR THAT AND MAKE SURE TO CONFIRM IT SO THAT WE CAN RELATE THOSE SMALL STORIES.

OKAY.

WHEN A SERVICE SERVERS AND THERE'S THE I SEE THE WOUND, UM, MI FAMILIA MSCI HAS FAMILIAS THEY OWN THE NECESSARILY.

YES, I THINK NOT .

UM, NOT ANY ANOTHER, UM, I MAY SEE HAS, UM, PROBLEM UM, I C E UH, UH, CAN I PLEASE HEAR FROM FRANCISCO DIAGNOSE TO CONFIRM THAT OUR TRANSLATOR IS ON THE LINE? OH, BETTER? DON'T THINK, YEAH.

PRINCESS GO.

I BELIEVE YOU'RE MUTED FRANCISCO.

I SEE THAT.

YOU'RE TRYING TO, YOU'RE TALKING, BUT YOU'RE STILL MUTED.

MY APOLOGIES, UH, TO REITERATE, UM, MY NAME IS FRANCISCO GAN.

I WILL BE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE INTERPRETER FOR THIS SECTION.

UH, MS. MORALES HAS MADE MENTION OF HER STATUS AS THE MANNER OF RESIDENTS AND, UM, THE DIFFICULTIES THAT SHE'S HAD, UM, DEALING WITH THE DIGITAL DIVIDE, UM, PRIMARILY AS IT RELATES TO, UM, THE, UH, ROLE THAT SHE'S HAD TO TAKE ON NOT ONLY AS A CARETAKER, BUT ALSO AS AN EDUCATOR NOW, UM, WHAT SHE HAS MADE MENTION OF IT HAS BEEN MOST PERVASIVE IN HER EXPERIENCES THUS FAR, IS THAT THERE IS SUFFICIENT BROADBAND TO BE ABLE TO, UH, EFFECTIVELY, UH, FOR TAKING CLASSES, UM, HER CHILDREN THAT IS, I MEAN, SHE HERSELF HAS, WELL, NOT ONLY THAT, BUT SHE HAS ALSO MADE MENTION THAT, UM, BEING THAT THERE IS A LIMITED NUMBER OF DEVICES FOR HER, UH, HOUSEHOLD.

UM, WHAT SHE FINDS IS THAT, UH, THEY ARE EXPERIENCING A MICROCOSM OF, UH, WITHIN THEIR HOUSEHOLD AND THEY OFTEN HAVE TO, UH, DIVINE TIMES IN WHICH THEY DIVULGE FOR EDUCATION OR FOR THEIR WORK OR, UH, CONNECTIONS TO FAMILY MEMBERS.

I AM GOING, UH, SHE HAS MORE TO MENTION SAY, UM,

[00:50:02]

SOMETHING ELSE AND, UM, INTERNET , UM, LEGO HOTSPOT UM, ULTRA DIFFICULT ADVOCATE IS SOY STORY HAPPENED IN THE END.

THE ENGLAND'S NO BOY UM, BENTYL UM, HE AND SHOW THAT TO US.

YES.

AND WHAT I'M ABOUT IS THE COMMISSION, UM, MS. MORALES HAS, UM, UH, PROVIDED US WITH MORE INSIGHT AS TO, UM, THE DIFFICULTIES THAT SHE'S BEEN EXPERIENCING.

UM, ONE OF THEM BEING THAT, UH, THERE IS A LACK OF CULTURALLY COMPETENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR, UH, PRIMARY CAREGIVERS, UM, THAT, UH, SPEAK ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.

AND SO WHAT THE, THAT HAS INHIBITED HER FROM DOING IS BEING ABLE TO, UM, STEP INTO THAT ROLE AS AN EDUCATOR, UH, IN A WAY IN WHICH, UH, SHE FEELS, UH, CAN BE EFFECTIVE AT THE MOMENT.

SHE FEELS THAT THAT IS SOMETHING THAT HAS, UM, UH, DISABLED HER FROM DOING JUST THAT.

UH, GOING BACK TO THE MENTION OF LACK OF BROADBAND, SHE MENTIONED THAT, UM, OFTENTIMES THE ASSIGNMENTS THEMSELVES ARE REQUIRE, UH, CERTAINLY, UH, PROGRAM AND USES, WHICH IS ABLE, UM, INDIVIDUALS FROM BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE A WORK THAT IS PROVIDED BY SCHOOLS, UH, THINGS, BROWSERS, AND OF THAT NATURE, UH, AS WELL AS THE FACT THAT, UH, SHE HAS HAD TO WORK, UH, FROM HER, UH, PHONE EFFECTIVELY, UM, THAT IS OPEN TO IT, IS THAT, UH, SHE DECIDED TO MAKE THE TRANSITION TO PRIMARY CAREGIVER, UM, RELYING ON THE INCOME OF HER HUSBAND AS A RESULT OF THAT.

AND SO THERE HAVE BEEN MANY, UM, BYPRODUCTS OF THE DEVICE WHICH HAVE MADE, UH, THE LIFE OF HIS MORALE IS NOT MUCH MORE , FAMILIAR EITHER.

OKAY.

MS. MORALES WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE COMMISSION AND ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS CALL.

SHE IS GRATEFUL TO SHARE HER STORY AND IS ADAMANT AND IS ASKING THAT THE RESOURCES IN, UH, UH, CULTURALLY COMPETENT PROGRAMS BE, UM, PUT INTO PLACE TO BE ABLE TO DIMINISH THE GAP THAT IS ONLY INCREASING AS A RESULT, THEN CHAIR, PITCHER, YOU ARE ON MUTE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TRANSLATING AND THANK YOU SO MUCH, MS. MORALES FOR SHARING YOUR STORY.

I KNOW THAT OUR COMMISSION IS COMMITTED TO DOING OUR PART AND WITH FAT, I WOULD LIKE TO, ALTHOUGH WE ARE PRESSED FOR TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO, UH, INVITE OTHERS TO SHARE THEIR STORIES.

BEFORE WE RESPOND WITH QUESTIONS.

I KNOW THERE'S SEVERAL PARENTS STANDING BY THAT WILL BE PARTICIPATING.

SO I'D LIKE IF WE COULD GO AHEAD AND KEEP THE TESTIMONY GOING

[00:55:01]

UH, UM, UH, UH, UH, SLAPPING LV THEN, UH, NOW WE HAVE, UH, I BELIEVE, UH, UH, MARIE LORD, UH, MET THE COP KAABOO JAMBI.

UH, WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP? YES.

UM, HELLO, MY NAME IS AND I'M A SINGLE MOM OF THREE KIDS, AND I LIVE IN SOUTH AUSTIN.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT THE EQUITY INEQUALITY AND ITS IMPACT ON THE FAMILY.

SINCE THE CORONER WHERE WE STARTED, UH, I WAS SCARED TO SEND MY KID TO SCHOOL.

SO I AM, THEY WERE STAYING HOME WITH ME, AND RIGHT NOW I'M GOING TO SCHOOL, UH, IN A COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL.

SO I HAD TO STOP GOING TO SCHOOL, JUST HOME WITH THEM, UM, BEING A TEACHER, BUT, UH, BEING, UH, DOING THAT.

IT'S NOT, IT'S VERY, IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH COMPUTER FOR MY THREE KIDS.

I HAVE A, THE FIRST ONE WHO IS IN FOURTH GRADE AND THEN ANOTHER ONE IN SECOND GRADE, AND THEN THE LAST ONE IN KINDERGARTEN.

SO THEY ALL NEED COMPUTER.

AND I HAD ONLY TWO COMPUTERS FOR THEM.

SO I FOUND MYSELF, UM, SACRIFICING ONE KID, UM, THE, THE WORK, THEY WERE ABLE TO ATTEND ALL THE CLASSES AND THESE, UH, DOING THAT IS GOING TO AFFECT THEIR GRADE.

AND THEN SOMETIMES HAVING THOSE TWO COMPUTERS, OR WE FIND MYSELF, UH, THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERNET BECAUSE MY INTERNET WAS VERY WEAK.

SO, UH, I WAS VERY, VERY STRESSED OUT ABOUT IT.

AND I KNOW THAT DIFFICULT THING WAS I WAS, I HAD TO DIVIDE MYSELF FOR THREE KIDS.

EVERY KID HAS A ASSIGNMENT THAT I HAVE TO DO.

EVERY KID NEEDS, UH, NEED ME TO BE AROUND WHEN IT'S TIME TO LOG IN, TO PUT THE PASSWORD.

AND THEN, UH, SCHOOL IS AT THE SAME TIME EVERY MORNING.

SO, UM, I, WE FOUND MYSELF LIKE SACRIFICING ONE KID, JUST NOT DOING NOTHING THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

AND THEN TOMORROW I, WE SWITCH ON SACRIFICE ANOTHER KID.

AND THEN, UH, IT'S VERY, VERY COMPLICATED FOR ME.

AND I HAVE THE LAST THING IS I'M, I DON'T HAVE A VERY GOOD SCARE ON COMPUTER, LIKE DOWNLOAD THINGS, UM, LIKE GOING ON THOSE, UH, MATERIAL THAT ALL THE SCHOOL, I USE IT NOW FOR KIDS.

SO I HAD TO TAKE LIKE ALMOST ONE WEEK TO STUDY THAT, UH, PIECES BY PIECES, BUT STEER, IT'S NOT DIFFICULT.

IT'S NOT EASY FOR ME.

SO THAT'S, UH, ALL THE PROBLEM THAT I FACE SINCE STARTED.

AND I REALLY APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT, UM, THE, YOU GIVE US, YOU GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS OURSELVES, TO SAY, TO TELL YOU WHAT'S GOING ON.

I'M VERY GRATEFUL FOR THAT.

AND I URGE YOU TO SUPPORT, UM, TO, TO SUPPORT A FOUR TO CLOSE THE GE DIGITAL DEVICE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU, SIR.

I APPRECIATE CONVENIENCE.

I KNOW THAT THERE'S LIKELY TO BE KEY QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK FROM OUR PANELISTS AND POLICYMAKERS, BUT I'D LIKE TO CHECK IN TO SEE IF THERE'S ANY OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS THAT WOULD LIKE TO PRESENT BEFORE WE BEGIN THAT PORTION.

OKAY.

LIKE MY DAUGHTER.

OKAY.

WELL, UH, I APPRECIATE, UH, YOU OFFERING YOUR, YOUR CHILD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK.

UM, I GUESS WITH THAT, WHAT I PREFER PERHAPS MIGHT BE BETTER, UH, SINCE WE ARE KIND OF PRESSED FOR TIME.

IF ANY OF YOU, IF ANY OF YOUR OTHER, UH, UH, YOUR OTHER, UH, GREATER AUSTIN FAMILY PATHWAYS MEMBERS.

SORRY, I JUST, I THINK, SORRY.

I CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION.

TESTIMONIAL .

[01:00:02]

SO THE , UM, WHICH HAS BUT, UM, IF AMELIA SINGLE YOU ALSO MUST THINK OF CLASSES.

INDIFFERENCE IS A SQUARED EQUALS FAMILIA HOSPITAL IN OSAKA LAST DAY.

, UH, MISS, UH, REBELLIOUS, UM, IS A NATIVE OF THE VALLEY.

UM, SHE, UM, SIMILAR TO THE OTHER, UH, PATHWAY, UH, FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE, UH, UH, BEEN EXPERIENCING A SIMILAR, UH, UH, THINGS SINCE IT'S PRIMARILY, WHAT DOES SHE HAS, UH, HAD TO DEAL WITH THESE, UM, HER BEING STUDENTS AS WELL, AND HAVING TO ENGAGE WITH TEACHERS, UH, CORE OR NOT, UM, BILINGUAL SPEAKERS.

AND THAT IS ONE, UH, HURDLE THAT SHE'S FACING.

UM, NOT ONLY THAT, UM, BUT, UM, SHE MADE MENTION THAT, UM, THERE IS INSUFFICIENT BROADBAND, UH, PROVIDED BY THE HOTSPOT, WHICH WAS THE SIGN TO HER HOUSEHOLD BY, UM, THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS, UM, AND BEING VENERABLE.

THESE CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL AS WELL.

SHE CAN NOT RELY UPON THEM TO HELP HER WITH SOME OF THE MORE LOGISTICAL COMPONENTS OF REMOTE LEARNING, UM, BEING THAT THEY AS WELL ARE IN SCHOOL, UM, THAT COUPLED WITH A LACK OF DEVICES AT HOME HAD ALSO MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR HER TO EFFECTIVELY PROVIDE, UH, THE, UH, THE BEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE TO HER CHILDREN.

UM, MENTIONING THAT THAT HER YOUNGEST CHILD IS CURRENTLY ATTENDING SCHOOL VIA HER CELL PHONE.

AND OFTENTIMES DUE TO THE INSUFFICIENT BROADBAND PROVIDED BY THE HOTSPOT.

UM, SHE HAS HAD TO RELY ON THE, UM, SERVICE

[01:05:01]

THAT HER CELL PHONE PROVIDES.

THAT IS BY MANY OF THE, UH, DIFFICULTIES THAT MR BELLA'S AS WELL AS OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ARE FACING.

AND SHE, UH, AS WELL EMPLOYED THAT GUN THERE BE, UM, UH, RESOURCES, CULTURALLY COMPETENT PROGRAMS FOR LATINOS IN CREATED TO BE ABLE TO SERVE AS THE SPECIFIC MICROCOSMS OF THE VIDEO WITH THE BIKE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT.

UH, UH, SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES AND CHALLENGES.

IT'S SO MEANINGFUL FOR US.

AND WE KNOW, UH, THAT IT'S REALLY THE BEGINNING TO ADDRESSING THESE CHALLENGES, UH, THAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING TOWARDS IS THE COMMUNITY IT'S A FIXED, BUT YET ARE ONGOING, UH, CHALLENGES.

UH, I'D LIKE TO, BUT COULD CONFIRM, UH, WITH PAUL, UH, UH, I KNOW THAT THE LAST SPEAKER WAS TENTATIVE.

UH, SO IF, IF THAT'S ALL THE SPEAKERS THAT YOU'LL HAVE, I'D LIKE TO GO AHEAD AND GIVE OUR POLICYMAKERS A CHANCE TO, UH, TO ENGAGE, UH, MS. AND MS. REBELLIOUS, DO ANY OF THE SPEAKERS USE THE AIS SCHOOL BUS VERY EXPERIENCED WITH THESE HOTSPOTS? THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

A COMMISSIONER NEEDS A LITTLE BEFORE WE GET TO THAT, I'D LIKE TO CONFIRM THAT WE HAVE HEARD FROM ALL THE SPEAKERS A PILOT.

CAN YOU PLEASE CONFIRM, HAVE YOU HEARD FROM ALL THE SPEAKERS TODAY? YES.

NO.

I THINK THAT WE HAVE ONLY ADD THESE THREE SPEAKERS TODAY.

OKAY, WONDERFUL.

WELL, THAT'S A PERFECT QUESTION THEN.

UH, UH, FRANCISCO, UH, DID YOU HEAR THE QUESTION FROM COMMISSIONER EATS? YES.

NOW I'M GOING TO TRANSLATE THAT SPANISH.

UM, UM, UH, THEY LOST THE SIANNA CHOICE.

YES, HE WAS EXPERIENCED YEAH.

AT MOMENTUM.

NO, YOU'RE NOT.

I WAS TO THE COMMISSION, UM, HAS, HAS MENTIONED THAT SHE IS AWARE OF THE BUSES, BUT SHE HAS NOT UTILIZED THEIR SERVICES BEING THAT, UM, SHE HAS A RATHER LARGE FAMILY AND A SMALL VEHICLE.

UM, AND SHE ALSO HAS VERY YOUNG CHILDREN THAT ARE HARD TO KEEP, UH, AT SITTING FOR A MONTH.

THAT'S UNDERSTANDABLE.

UH, OKAY.

OH, JUPITER IS A RED COVERED, HIT, IT HIT VERY HARD.

AND PARTICULARLY IN AISD, EASTERN SEPARATE OF THE CITY, IT HIT HARDER THAN THE REST OF THE CITY AND EVERYTHING COLLAPSED.

AND WE WERE ASSURED THAT AS THE MONTHS WENT BY, THERE WOULD BE GRADUAL IMPROVEMENT IN THE DELIVERY OF TECHNOLOGY, SUCH THAT STUDENTS CAN THEN BE ENGAGED.

HAS THERE BEEN ANY PERCEPTIBLE CHANGE IN THE QUALITY OF THE EQUIPMENT AND THE SERVICES SO THAT CHILDREN CAN ALL BE BETTER ENGAGED? I'D LIKE TO INTERJECT? I COULD, UH, BECAUSE AS MS , UH, EXPRESSED, UH, SHE'S HAVING CHALLENGES WITH THE EQUIPMENT THAT SHE HAS RECEIVED.

SO I THINK THAT YOUR QUESTION HAS BEEN ANSWERED BY HER TESTIMONY ALREADY, BUT I'D LIKE TO ASK YOU MS. HUMAN B, IF I COULD, UH, IF YOU COULD PERHAPS OFFER ANY ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK ON HOW IT'S BEEN TO USE, UH, THE HOTSPOTS FOR YOUR HOME, THAT MIGHT HELP US TO, TO HELP AISB THAT'S FOR YOU.

THERE WE GO.

SORRY.

I, TO SAY I WAS LOST MY INTERNET

[01:10:01]

WHEN PRISON.

OKAY.

WELL, THAT'S REALLY APROPOS THAT PROVED THE POINT.

GIVE US SOME ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS ON HOW IT'S BEEN FOR YOU.

OH YES.

OKAY.

GREAT.

EVERYTHING IS PERFECT.

NOW THIS IS MY INTERNET.

THAT'S JUST DOING OKAY.

SO I'M FAMILY, A SINGLE MOM, SINGLE MOM, LIKE, LIKE ME, IT'S NOT REALLY EASY TO GO THROUGH THE, THE PROBLEM OF ALL THE PAIN THE ME IS CAUSING.

SO, UM, MY KIDS ARE VERY STRESSFUL.

I, RIGHT NOW I HAVE A PROGRAM, UH, AT SCHOOL, UH, FOR MY KID.

THEY DON'T REALLY LIKE THE FACT, UH, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED AT SCHOOL.

YOU DON'T LIKE THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE TO STAY VERY FAR AWAY FROM EACH OTHER.

AND OF COURSE, THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE TO WEAR MASK, UH, YESTERDAY MY KID, THE ONE I PICKED HIM UP AT SCHOOL, YOU HAVE TO STAY IN THE CAFETERIA BY HIMSELF.

I MEAN, ALL THE KIDS WHO HAVE SIBLINGS NEED TO STAY TOGETHER, SO THE PARADE CAN PICK THEM UP SO THAT THEY DIDN'T KNOW THAT IF, BECAUSE OF THE COVID.

SO THE, THE, THE TOLL THAT IT WAS JUST SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND THEY WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.

SO WHEN I TALKED TO THE TEACHER, THE TEACHER SAYS EVERYBODY'S LIKE THAT ALL THE SIBLINGS NEED TO STAY TOGETHER WHEN A PARENT COMES TO PICK THEM UP.

SO, UM, THAT'S ANOTHER VERY, IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR KIDS TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON.

AND OF COURSE IT WON'T, IT'S NOT EASY FOR THEM TO, TO UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION.

SO MY PROBLEM NOW IS LIKE, UH, THE, THE LEGACY, THE MENTOR PROGRAM THAT MY KID, I HAVEN'T RIGHT NOW, IT'S, IT'S, IT'S AN ISSUE FOR ME.

THANK YOU FOR THAT.

AND OBVIOUSLY DEMONSTRATING THE CHALLENGE THAT YOU'RE HAVING WITH YOUR BANDWIDTH.

UNFORTUNATELY, HAVING TO DROP OFF THE CALL AS A COMMISSIONED, ASKING FOR NOTICE.

SO, UM, WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU SHARING TODAY.

UH, WE DO, UH, NEED TO PROCEED IN OUR AGENDA, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE, UH, OUR, UH, INFREQUENT YES.

UH, OUR, UH, DIRECT POLICY MAKERS, UH, AN OPPORTUNITY TO RESPOND TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED WAY, UH, FAMILY PATHWAYS PROGRAM.

YOU CAN SEE MY HAND, BUT, AND WE THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND EVERYBODY ELSE ON THE CALL, BUT I SEE SCORE, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT, I HEARD SOMEBODY SAY THAT THEY IN THE VALLEY AND THEN SOMEBODY ELSE, EITHER IN MAYNOR, ARE THERE ANY PATHWAYS PARTICIPANTS WHO ARE AISD? YES.

THANK YOU.

I GUESS I'M JUST TRYING TO GAUGE IS THE COMMISSION ENGAGED IN CONVERSATIONS WITH MAINER AND DEL VALLEY ISD AS WELL? OH, WOW.

QUICKLY AS I FEEL THAT I MIGHT HAVE MISINTERPRETED, UM, COUNCILWOMAN, MISS REBECCA IS A NATIVE OF THE VALLEY, BUT SHE HAS AN AUSTIN RESIDENT.

NO, I HEARD SOMEBODY SAID BB AND THEY'LL BUY IT.

AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS DELL VALLEY.

OH, I THINK HE FITS HE'S FROM THE VALLEY.

I SEE.

AND I, AND I DEFINITELY HEARD SOMEBODY SAY THAT THEIR SOLAR ATTENDS IS IN THAT THEY LIVE IN MAYNOR.

CAN YOU ASCERTAIN WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE AISD OR MAYNOR ISD? I LIVE, EXCUSE ME.

I LIVE IN MAYNOR.

I'M DONE FOR MAROTTA.

I LIVE IN MAINE BED.

MY KIDS GO TO ISD.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

AND SO, FROM WHAT I WAS ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THROUGH MY CONVERSATION WITH AISD RECENTLY WAS THAT THEY FELT SECURE THAT FROM FIRST GRADE THROUGH 12TH GRADE, ALL SCHOLARS WHO NEEDED DEVICES HAD THEM.

AND SO I'M TROUBLED TO HEAR THAT SO MANY DON'T HAVE THEM.

IN WHICH CASE I'D LIKE TO JUST FIGURE OUT FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WERE YOU OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET A DEVICE DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME, BECAUSE THAT WAS THE PROCESS.

AND I'M JUST, I'M VERY CURIOUS WHY THERE'S SUCH A SHORTAGE OF DEVICES WHEN AISD SEEMS TO THINK THEY

[01:15:01]

DISTRIBUTED ENOUGH DEVICES AND THAT, OR THEY AT LEAST OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE DEVICES DISTRIBUTED TO THEM.

SO I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE GAP IS HERE.

UM, UM, , , UH, UM, JOE , BUT, UH, BUT, UM, MY ASSOCIATES AND THEN I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS COMMON.

THANK MS. MORALE HAS MENTIONED THAT SHE DID HAVE THE ABILITY TO RECEIVE A DEVICE AND HAVE THAT DELIVERED TO HER HOME.

UM, WHAT THEY FOUND MOST PREVALENT IN HER HOME IS THAT SHE HAS HAD TO MAKE THAT TRANSITION FROM WORKING FROM HOME.

AND SO THAT IS WHAT IT'S BEEN SUFFICIENT.

UM, AND AS A RESULT OF THAT AND HAVING A NEW BROADBAND, SHE HAS HAD TO USE THE DEVICE THAT WAS AFFORDED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO BE ABLE TO APPEASE THAT REQUIREMENT.

THANK YOU.

APPRECIATE THAT.

AND I CAN CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THE DIFFICULTY IN MAKING THE TRANSITION.

UH, I MADE THE TRANSITION IN MARCH AND NOW .

AND SO THE DIFFICULTY, I GUESS, I'M JUST THINKING WHAT ALL THE PROBLEMS ARE.

IT SOUNDS TO ME LIKE ONE, THE DIFFICULTY OF MAKING THIS VERY, VERY HARD TRANSITION.

I HAD TO YOUTUBE FOR HOURS TO LEARN HOW TO TEACH MY FIFTH GRADER, COMMON CORE MATH, BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW I LEARNED MATH.

UM, SO THERE'S THAT PART WHEN YOU HAVE TO BECOME AN EDUCATOR.

AND THEN THERE'S THE PART WHERE IT SOUNDS TO ME, LIKE THERE'S A SHORTAGE OF DEVICES.

IT ALSO SOUNDS TO ME LIKE THERE'S A SHORTAGE OF CONSISTENT BROADBAND, AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT I'M HEARING EVERYTHING CORRECTLY, THAT I'M GETTING ALL THE ACCURATE INFORMATION.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO ADD THERE, APOLLO? YES, DEFINITELY.

UM, I JUST WANTED TO ADD A LITTLE BIT MORE OF CONTEXT.

UM,